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Lottery windfall for sports projects

A total of 18 organisations that help people stay active will benefit from new National Lottery funding

09th May 2018


A charity that helped a mother cope with severe post-natal depression through sport is one of 18 organisations to benefit from new National Lottery funding.

Sport in Mind, which works in partnership with the NHS, will receive more than £800,000 to deliver innovative sports programmes to help people experiencing mental health problems.

Like all the organisations selected, Sport in Mind was awarded funding as it helps people stay, or become, active after a major change in their personal circumstances.

Alexia suffered badly with depression after giving birth to her second child.

“Although I had everything I had ever wanted; a loving husband, two amazing kids and a fantastic home I felt like something had changed inside of me,” she explained.

“I was referred to numerous self-help groups and these helped slightly, but it was not until I joined Sport in Mind’s groups and started exercising regularly that I really saw an improvement in my condition.

“I had read lots of articles about how sport and exercise can help depression, but if I’m totally honest I never really believed it until it helped me."

She added: “Attending the sessions helped me through some very dark days and enabled me to rediscover the old me, the woman that used to laugh and smile, and enjoy being around people.

“I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t gone along to their group. I guess it’s probably not worth thinking about.”

So far, Sport in Mind has helped more than 10,000 people and the charity will use the National Lottery funding to deliver projects across the south east - including 100 areas that are amongst the most deprived in England.

All the organisations selected for funding help people live active lives after changes to their personal circumstances.

Funded projects include a Tinder-style app (Buump), that helps new mums find like-minded exercise buddies, and a project (Silverfit) – set up by Eddie Brocklesby, the oldest British woman to complete an Ironman triathlon – that helps make activity an attractive, fun option for people who are retiring.

Taking part

Our Active Lives Adult Survey showed that there are nearly 15 million people who are regularly active in England, which means they have a resilient habit of sport and physical activity and are enjoying benefits such as enhanced quality of life, confidence, and improved physical and mental wellbeing.

But even people with the strongest habits are at risk of dropping out when they go through a major life change, whether that’s a serious injury or illness, having a baby, children starting school, a new job, moving to a new house or retiring. 

Some people find their way back into the routine but many find it tough to get active again in a way that fits their new circumstances.

We know that when life changes, activity habits can change too

Phil Smith

People from lower socio-economic groups, women, people with a limiting disability and those aged over 55 are more prone to drop out.

Phil Smith, our Director of Sport, said helping these groups become and stay active was a key part of our overall strategy, Towards An Active Nation.

“We know that when life changes, activity habits can change too,” he said. “Leaving school or college, starting a family, retiring from work, or becoming ill - all big challenges for even the most committed to sport and fitness.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, these 18 organisations will explore how to help people keep their activity habits or find new ones. Sport England will support this work and share what works – and what doesn't – more widely among the sport and health sector so that more can be done to help support people to stay active whatever happens in their lives.”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: "We know that being active boosts mental as well as physical wellbeing so the benefits of it to our busy lives are huge.

“This National Lottery funding will bring sport to local communities by funding projects that make it easier for people to stay active, following a major change in their life."

The projects




Who will be helped?


London Borough of Lambeth


New carers, who were previously active, will be offered activities, complimentary therapy, wellbeing support, volunteering and training.


Cotman Housing Association Ltd


Carers of people with dementia who will be helped to become active again.


Buump Ltd


Pregnancy and new mums


Nouveau Wellbeing CIC

North East

Women who stop being active during pregnancy or early motherhood will be offered activities tailored to their needs. 


Living Sport Cambridgeshire And Peterborough Sports Partnership Ltd.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

People who move home into an area they don’t know well will be helped to ensure they don’t break the habit of being active. The project will focus on women and girls, particularly new mothers, and single young men.


Cotman Housing Association Ltd

East of England

People living in social housing who move home and will be given support to remain active in the new area where they live.


Active Norfolk


People who would like to stay active when they retire. This project will explore the best ways to help them achieve this.


Silverfit Ltd

London (mainly Southwark & Lambeth)

People retiring, who will enjoy ‘Silver Saturdays’ including walking football or tag rugby, Silver Cheerleading and pilates.


Greater Sport

Tameside later extending to Manchester and Greater Manchester.

Leaving the Services


Sport in Mind

Oxon, Bucks, Berks, Surrey, Dorset, Hants, Sussex and Kent

People with serious mental illness will be helped to become active, overcoming their fears such as mental health stigma and body concerns.


Age UK North Tyneside

North Tyneside

People aged over 55 who have led an active life before a recent change in their physical health.


Leonard Cheshire Disability


Previously active people who have been diagnosed with a disability.


Neuro Therapy Centre Limited

West Cheshire

People who have a long-term neurological condition such as MS, Motor Neurone Disease or Parkinson’s, that is now starting to affect their activity levels.


Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital and others.

Young people with cystic fibrosis. This project will test whether an online programme, ActivOnline, developed in Australia, is more effective than existing ways of maintaining activity following admission to hospital.


Active Norfolk


Young people with a disability, who will be helped to remain active as they move on from education into adult life.


The Good Gym


Likely to be initially targeting:

●      London,

●      Manchester

●      Birmingham

●      Bristol

●      Newcastle

●      Liverpool

Women graduating from university – where they participated in sport regularly – whose focus changes to finding employment.


Foresight (North East Lincolnshire) Limited

North East Lincolnshire

Single disabled people, particularly those with a learning disability, who are affected by their independent living support being withdrawn, decreased or not being available. 


Leeds City Council


People who face unpredictable life changes, such as bereavement and the breakdown of a relationship.


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